Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).

State reports surge in Legionnaires’ disease

By: - July 19, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and local health departments are investigating a recent spike in Legionnaires’ disease cases across the state. The DHHS announced Monday that in the 13 days between July 1 and Wednesday, 107 cases of the respiratory infection were reported in 25 counties — representing a 569% increase […]

At Michigan-Wisconsin border, enviros and tribes fight to keep new mine at bay

By: - July 17, 2021

For years, Indigenous and environmental groups have been standing up against Calgary-based Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, arguing a rupture could harm the areas’s freshwater and ecosystem. And about 200 miles west across Lake Michigan, in the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula, a similar story is unfolding. On Friday, […]

Michigan joins 47 states seeing COVID-19 cases rise in last 2 weeks

By: - July 14, 2021

Michigan is now one of many states experiencing a rise in COVID-19 rates, according to the New York Times tracker. Over the past 14 days, all but two states (South Dakota and Iowa) have experienced some percentage increase in new cases. Forty-one of those — including Michigan, with a 33% increase — are seeing an […]

How many Michigan prison workers have been vaccinated? The state doesn’t know.

By: - July 14, 2021

As of Tuesday, about 63% of the 32,732 inmates housed in Michigan correctional facilities are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — which is higher than the state average of 57.1%. That was made possible by a coordinated state effort, according to Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesperson Chris Gautz. But as for how many of the […]

State reports 650 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

By: - July 13, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Tuesday that a total of 896,717 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19,832 have died from the virus — an additional 650 cases and 31 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s, Monday’s and Tuesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average […]

State board OKs anti-Whitmer petition, heads to GOP-led Legislature

By: - July 13, 2021

After a year of right-wing acrimony over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 orders and legal turbulence over an effort to permanently strip some of her emergency powers, the controversial Unlock Michigan campaign prevailed Tuesday at getting its petition approved by the Board of State Canvassers. The bipartisan panel had previously deadlocked on the petition along party […]

State, Enbridge to conclude mediation in Line 5 lawsuit by late August

By: - July 9, 2021

While it is still unclear when a federal judge will make a ruling on which court — state or federal — will preside over Michigan’s lawsuit against Enbridge to shut down its controversial Line 5 oil pipeline, a recent filing in State of Michigan v Enbridge offers a clue for the timeline. Canadian oil company […]

Michigan Supreme Court rejects deadline extension for independent redistricting panel

By: - July 9, 2021

Updated, 1:51 p.m., 7/9/21, with comment from Voters Not Politicians The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday denied the independent redistricting committee’s request for a deadline extension due to delayed U.S. Census data, throwing a wrench into the new panel’s first go at drawing new district lines for the state. The 13-member Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting […]

Biden appoints Whitmer to Council of Governors

By: - July 8, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been appointed by President Joe Biden to serve on the 10-member Council of Governors, the White House announced Thursday. Whitmer joins Democratic Govs. Tim Walz (Minn.), John Carney (Del.), John Bel Edwards (La.) and Kate Brown (Ore.), and Republican Govs. Mike DeWine (Ohio), Spencer Cox (Utah), Phil Scott (Vt.) and Mark […]

Colbeck starts petition to censure 3 GOP senators for report showing no election fraud

By: - July 8, 2021

The deepening divide between Michigan Republicans who subscribe to the conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump did not lose to President Joe Biden in 2020 continues to grow, with the latest infighting taking shape as a petition from a GOP former state senator. Ex-state Sen. Pat Colbeck (R-Canton) started the petition on Monday, […]

McClain votes remotely from Trump event after criticizing Dems for proxy voting

By: - July 7, 2021

Weeks after criticizing several of her Democratic colleagues for casting votes remotely by proxy during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Twp.) took advantage of the system on June 29 and 30 while at the southern border for an event with former President Donald Trump. According to the House clerk documents, McClain cited […]

Tribal citizens ask Biden to shut down Line 5 during Antrim Co. visit

By: - July 7, 2021

A Petoskey-based, Indigenous-led water protector group said this week that its members approached President Joe Biden during his latest Michigan visit over the weekend and reminded him of their concerns about the controversial Line 5 oil pipeline. MackinawOde (Heart of the Turtle) members and allies attended Biden’s stop in Antrim County’s Central Lake in northern […]